Actor Gaten Matarazzo is ready for his fourth surgery. On Wednesday, January 29, the Stranger Things star took to Instagram and told his 13.3 million followers that he was headed into surgery number four for his cleidocranial dysplasia, a rare genetic disorder that affects the growth of his bones and teeth.
“Surgery number 4! This is a big one!” the 17-year-old wrote alongside a selfie of himself laying in a hospital bed.
Gaten’s friend and costar Millie Bobby Brown was quick to leave a positive comment on his post.
“Good luck love!!! Sending my love gate,” the actress wrote.
Cara Buono, who played Mike and Nancy’s mom on Stranger Things, also left the actor a sweet comment.
“Sending you supernova good vibes. Love you,” she said.
Since his debut as Dustin Henderson on the Netflix hit series, Gaten has been super open about living with his rare condition. In January 2018, he opened up about how his cleidocranial dysplasia actually inspired his Stranger Things character.
“It’s a very rare condition and not many people have it around the world. When they wrote it into the show, I [started] getting a lot of messages and emails online from people who have the condition, saying that it really helps them come out of their shells a little bit,” Gaten told The Daily Beast at the time. “Because a lot of people have it much worse than I do and it affects them much worse than it does me. I’ve always liked to embrace the condition but other people don’t feel the same way.”
He continued, “[Fans with the condition] say that because this was in the show and this is the first time they’ve heard of it outside the doctor’s office, it made them feel really good and it inspired them. Those messages really inspired me and made me feel good and appreciate [the show’s creators] the Duffers even more. I look up to them like they’re my older brothers. I mean, they’re just great guys. They inspired a lot of people to come out of their shells and embrace what they have.”
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